I don’t know what worries me the most. The fact that I haven’t felt any of the recent earthquakes in Southern California or that they are getting more frequent and bigger.
How could I not feel the one last Sunday from Mexicali? They felt it in Los Angeles, for crying out loud. And at 4:40 p.m. I was either out in the back garden or lying on my bed reading. I felt nothing. Maybe I thought it was just the weeds finally breaking loose. Maybe I was thoroughly engrossed in my novel, but I did not notice anything shake or rattle.
I remember just barely feeling the Northridge quake from here but I was in a water bed. This has led me to surmise that my house is built at the tip of a giant underground granite mountain. That’s mildly reassuring, but I haven’t even felt recent earthquakes when I was in Encinitas nor have I felt them when I was driving. I think my personal seismometer may be broken. I get this feeling that I’ll be walking along watching houses crumble and think, “Gee, what do you suppose caused that?”
My ability to stay in Southern California-denial mode began crumbling last fall when Mammoth recorded 2,000 quakes in just a few days. Nearby faults and ancient calderas notwithstanding, that seems just a teeny bit excessive to me. I want very badly to believe that all these “smaller” quakes are letting off steam, preventing a really big one, It’s not working. So, I just want to say to whoever might be handling these things, enough. Yo, Vulcan. We get the message. Tomorrow I will go out and buy any earthquake supplies that we don’t already have, which would be most of them.
When the kids were little, I had it all, right down to $200 in $1 bills. Hey. The banks will be closed, but I can still walk to a couple of stores. At worst, we could use it for kindling. I gathered up all the usual stuff — water, canned food, first aid kit, snacks, blankets and a pair of shoes by our bed every night. I still keep shoes handy. I learned that from my dear friend who was at home in Northridge during the Northridge quake.
And who else remembers when schools required you send a survival kit for you children, complete with an “I’ll always love you no matter what happens” letter. Oh, my stars. Writing that was absolutely dreadful. Did you just lie outright and tell them you will be there to get them no matter what, or did you try to just reassure them that everything will be fine, even if it might not? Yeah, that was delightful.
Meanwhile, years went by and I forgot to even check my supplies, which managed to mildew, leak and generally get yucky. I eventually chucked it all, and in a burst of optimism, spent the $200.
Maybe I’ve watched too many generally apocalyptic movies. Maybe I just don’t trust my dogs to leap up and alert me like animals are supposed to (they didn’t leap last Sunday). I just think I’ll feel better when I have a few things stocked up and put somewhere I can get to if all heck breaks loose.
No matter how brave I am, I already know I’d rather change out a plastic barrel of mildew once a year, than be stuck drinking the water from the toilet tank.
And yes, if you know where I live, I’ll make sure I have enough to share. Meanwhile, if the big one hits, I hope my house falls to pieces, because there is no way I am cleaning up that mess.
Jean Gillette is the Community News editor for The Coast News Group. As a journalist, she primarily worked in San Clemente and Los Angeles. She has been with the Coast News for 20 years and lives in La Costa.